Luke Nevill recorded a double-double vs. High Point Tuesday
Nov. 14, 2007
Game Date: Nov. 14, 2007
Game Time: 7:45 p.m. PST
Location: Seattle, Wash.
Arena: Bank of America Arena (10,000)
Radio: Utah Sports Radio Network
(Mike Lageschulte, play-by-play; Mark Rydalch, color)
Internet: www.UtahUtes.com (live audio, live stats)
Series History: Series tied 5-5
Last Meeting: Washington 78, Utah 71 (Nov. 25, 2004 - Great Alaska Shootout)
The University of Utah men's basketball team will battle Washington for a trip to New York City's Madison Square Garden Wednesday night at Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Wash. The game is the West Region final of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The winner of Wednesday's game will travel to NYC for Nov. 21 and Nov. 23 dates in the semifinals and finals of the tournament.
Utah comes into Wednesday's contest with the Huskies at 2-0 after a 77-64 win over High Point in the first round of the tournament. Luke Nevill scored 18 points to lead four Utes in double figures. Nevill also pulled down 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Washington advanced to the West Region final with season-opening 88-47 win over New Jersey Institute of Technology. Tim Morris scored 16 points off the bench for the Huskies, who had five in double digits.
Runnin' Ute Fast Breaks
Six Utah players are averaging 9.0 points per game or more.
The Runnin' Utes scored 86 points in their season-opener against South Carolina Upstate. Utah only reached 80 points in regulation four times last season.
Utah held South Carolina Upstate to 52 points Friday. The Runnin' Utes did not hold a single 2006-07 opponent to less than 55 points.
Utah's last time in the NIT Season Tip-Off (then called the Preseason NIT) was 2003-04, when the Utes hosted first- and second-round games in Salt Lake City. The Utes defeated Georgia State (46-38) and Minnesota (66-54) to advance to New York, where they lost to Texas Tech and Connecticut.
For the second consecutive game, Utah shot better than 50 percent from the field -- .571 vs. South Carolina Upstate; .540 vs. High Point.
The Utes allowed opponents to shoot .500 from the field last season. So far this year, that mark is .370.
Utah averaged just 4.7 steals per game last season, ranking 9th (of 9) in the Mountain West Conference and 314th (of 325) in NCAA Division I. This year's version of the Runnin' Utes is more than doubling that average. Through two contests, Utah has committed thievery 9.5 times per game. In fact more than half (19-of-34) of the turnovers forced by the Runnin' Utes this season have been off of steals.
Junior center Luke Nevill ranked ninth in the nation in field-goal percentage last season, converting at a .637 clip from the field. The 7-foot 1-inch Aussie isn't quite that hot in the early going this season, but he's still shooting a more-than-respectable .545 (12-of-22). He has still managed to reach double-figure scoring in both games. Nevill also recorded his first doubledouble of the season -- and the 15th of his career -- with 18 points and 10 boards against High Point Tuesday night.
Bryant's Big Burst
Senior guard Johnnie Bryant has embraced his role as Utah's sixth man, after starting 57 of 59 games in the first two seasons of his Ute career. But against High Point Tuesday night, he was a little rusty when he came off the bench in the first half, going 0-for-4 from the field. However, Bryant played a big part in Utah's win over the Panthers in the second half. After missing his first four shots, he hit his next four (including two 3-pointers), all in a span of 2:07. It was part of a 22-10 spurt, which put the Utes firmly in control.